A Year of Sustainability | One Month In...
The first month of the 2012-13 academic year has seen a whirlwind of IN FOCUS opportunities for the campus community. We welcomed to campus both Sandra Steingraber, author of the common reading, and Winona LaDuke, the 2012 Convocation Speaker. Both gave extraordinary talks, giving us much to contemplate, discuss, and act upon. A variety of smaller venues gave students, faculty, and others the opportunity to participate in rich discussions with Ms. LaDuke throughout the time she was a guest on campus. Both talks were recorded and links to these are available through the new In Focus: Sustainability Blackboard site open to members of the campus community (enroll in the course SPEC0000.FA12: In Focus: Sustainability). To access the course, go to https://blackboard.moravian.edu/, then click in the >Misc – clubs, committees, help, library, research folder > and enroll in the SPEC0000.FA12 – In Focus: Sustainability. This site is a work-in-progress, so please let us know if there are other categories or specific resources that you would like to see added.
We had a record turnout of around 100 people for the first Environmental Film Series showing of the year, Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time. The film, produced by the Aldo Leopold Foundation, The Center for Humans and Nature, and the U.S. Forest Service, portrays how Leopold’s vision of a community that cares about both people and land ties together a wide range of modern conservation concerns and offers inspiration and insight for a sustainable future. If you missed this, you can view the film by clicking on this link: http://creek.moravian.edu/InFocus/Greenfire.wmv.
The 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was on September 27th. It was commemorated on campus by a faculty discussion on the impacts of the book and the author on society, on the chemical and agricultural industries, on our teaching and scholarship, and on us personally.
As we greet October, we are reminded of Winona LaDuke’s description of the seasonal moons that link their religion, annual cyclic activities and ceremonies, and respect for nature. Many of us think of the fall harvest, the spectacular color display, crisp days and first frosts…Personally, I lDiane] am involved in a research project monitoring phenology— the seasonal changes in nature. For fall, that includes recording the timing of events such as the blooming of fall asters and witch-hazel, the ripening of the milkweed seeds, the migration of butterflies, songbirds, and raptors, the loss of the canary yellow color in goldfinches, and the first frost.
What does October denote for you?
Don St. John
Co-directors of the Sustainability Center of Investigation
An Art Auction to Honor the Earth
A big "thank you" goes out to the Moravian students, faculty members, and staff who donated photos, drawings, paintings, and other works for the art auction that raised $1,050 to benefit Honor the Earth, an organization that works to create energy justice, provides grants to build green economies on tribal lands, and supports youth initiatives for Native Americans.
A special thanks to Kelly Weaver '13 and Jan Ciganic in the Art Department for organizing the auction.
A focus on student activities related to sustainability
Caitlin Campbell '13 is using her three summers of experience working with the National Park Service and her life knowledge of growing up along the coast in New Jersey for her Honors Project tentatively entitled “Barnegat Bay Explorer Program: Using Public Education in the Barnegat Bay Protection Effort”.
Marla Bianca '13 is expanding on her summer SOAR project for Honors in which she is examining the ecological impact of the heavy metal uptake in plants at the Superfund restoration project site at the Lehigh Gap.
Nicole Belanger '13 completed her sustainability project examining greenhouse gas inventory at Moravian College. The inventory was then analyzed to find reasonable solutions for greenhouse gas reduction. It was found that Moravian College is currently emitting over 10,000 metric tons of eCO2 per year. This means that the college is producing around 7MT per student. Presently, 52% of Moravian College’s greenhouse gas emissions come from purchased electricity.
The average light measurement taken from the college is 635 lux, where lux is a measure of the intensity of light that hits or passes through a surface. The recommended lux measurement for a classroom or library setting is 300. This means that Moravian’s light usage should be cut in half. If both the upper and lower levels in the Reeves Library were integrated with solutions like motion/daylight light sensors and less lights, then the college would save the earth 66MT of eCO2 and itself $13,116 per year. If this analysis were carried through to each of Moravian College’s buildings, the savings would be even more significant.
A focus on faculty activities related to sustainability
Over the summer, Grace Ji-Sun Kim, associate professor of doctrinal theology and director of the MATS Theology, traveled to South Africa to present a paper and respond to a paper at an Eco-theology Conference. While there, she stayed at the Sustainability Institute in Capetown. She recently wrote a column inspired by the experience published in EthicsDaily.com: What Do You Do When You See Injustice?
Sustainability Grant Opportunities
The In Focus Committee is pleased to offer mini grants of $200 for a special project or program regarding this year’s theme- sustainability. Please contact Ann Claussen at firstname.lastname@example.org or x1492 if you have an interest in applying for a grant.
We look forward to any new activities or program ideas representing a multitude of disciplines or field of study and welcome all interested in applying. Our goal is to enrich and engage the campus community in a variety of ways as we learn more about sustainability.
Quotes About October and Autumn
In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter, morning and evening—no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air. ~Alexander Smith
A hidden fire burns perpetually upon the hearth of the world.... In autumn this great conflagration becomes especially manifest. Then the flame that is slowly and mysteriously consuming every green thing bursts into vivid radiance. Every blade of grass and every leaf in the woodlands is cast into the great oven of Nature; and the bright colours of their fading are literally the flames of their consuming. The golden harvest-fields are glowing in the heart of the furnace.... By this autumn fire God every year purges the floor of nature. All effete substances that have served their purpose in the old form are burnt up. Everywhere God makes sweet and clean the earth with fire. ~Hugh Macmillan
Community Service Opportunities
Students should contact Community Service to get involved in volunteer work in the community. Opportunities for students to volunteer at a food pantry, homeless shelter, local schools, and other community organizations are organized through the Center for Leadership and Service. To learn more, click here.
Students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to participate in service trips focused on sustainability throughout the year. These trips are sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Service. Click here
for a full listing of trips